In recent years as our once-fine country increasingly has become eroded by political correctness, there has been this big push to eliminate the phrase “Merry Christmas” from the vernacular.
Supposedly, “Merry Christmas” is considered so offensive that it must be replaced by the extremely lame “Happy Holidays.”
Idiots in the public spectrum, including most of the people on television these days, all fall in line with the “Happy Holidays” nonsense and expect the rest of us to do the same. Wrong!
This is just another one of those attempts to force the vast majority of people to change basically innocent traditions because of the microscopic chance some minority group might be offended. In this case, to alter the verbage we long have used as part of the celebration of a major holiday.
My answer to this is that if somebody is so irreparably offended or chapped by someone else saying “Merry Christmas,” they should just go ahead and move into a plastic bubble to insulate themselves against the world and be done with it — or, they can go back to wherever it is they came from.
I’m sure in that place, no one would change saying whatever they say during holidays just to make sure an American was not offended.
Yet my real interest today is not Christmas but another holiday, Memorial Day, and how people are trashing its name just as they have Christmas — but more due to ignorant disrespect than political correctness. Memorial Day will be observed this year on May 30.
And every spring about this time, I tell myself this year it will be different, that I won’t hear someone utter the moronic phrase “Happy Memorial Day.” But every year, I am grossly disappointed.
I think in 2015 I made it only as far as the 5 o’clock news on the Friday of the Memorial Day weekend before that fateful die once again was cast. The culprit then was a bubble-headed beach-blonde on a Triad TV station who in a fit of giddy naiveté wished everyone a “Happy Memorial Day” with the gleeful stupidity of a drunken hyena.
About the same time, there was also a commercial promoting some “big Memorial Day sale” by a mattress retailer, and another urging viewers to buy a new car now that the summer travel season has started with the holiday.
In the past, I’ve even heard Dale Earnhardt Jr. utter the phrase “Happy Memorial Day,” showing yet once again how he pales in comparison to Earnhardt Sr. in so many ways. Dale Sr. would not have dissed the holiday in such a manner, and for that matter probably would not have spoken against the Confederate flag as his son has, either.
I can’t tell you how much hearing “Happy Memorial Day” come from ANYONE’S lips makes me cringe — no precision instrument has been invented to measure the intensity of my disgust about that, even the Richter scale.
The fact is, “Happy Memorial Day” incorporates a blatant contradiction in terms. The word “memorial” refers to someone who has died, in this instance America’s deceased military personnel, who fittingly will be honored with special ceremonies and solemn remembrances across the nation.
So to me, using “happy” and “memorial” in the same breath would be like telling someone “Happy Funeral.”
But people keep saying “Happy Memorial Day” all the same, being seemingly incapable of looking beyond the fact that this most solemn of all holidays is about more than a three-day weekend with a cookout or pool party.
Even with all the flag-waving and recognition of veterans both past and present which occurs during patriotic observances, the truth is that U.S. military personnel have been treated pretty shabbily for the most part.
They often suffer from increased levels of unemployment, homelessness, suicide, isolation and deprivation of health care, as evidenced by the well-documented problems surrounding Veterans Affairs medical facilities. Then we expect military members to put their lives on the line in faraway corners of the world for usually pointless wars.
Given everything else service personnel have gone through over the past two centuries or so — including dying for their country in one conflict after another — the least everyone could do today is not cheapen a holiday meant to honor them.
So with Memorial Day 2016 looming, I wonder how far I will go this year without hearing some moron say “Happy Memorial Day.”
Place your bets!
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.